Indian Express, The Hindu do a cover-up job on Sharad Pawar

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

I share this with the readers of Indian Express and The Hindu to caution them about the highly biased coverage of these two newspapers who in popular perception are the front soldiers of Communist-Leftist ideology in this country.

In today’s editions of the two newspapers, there is little mention of “heated discussions” between Congress and Ajit Pawar which led the latter to storm out of the room and seek out BJP towards government formation in Maharashtra.

This was shared by Sharad Pawar in a television interview which has been widely reported in newspapers except in the above-two mentioned.  The interview also has Sharad Pawar griping that while Shiv Sena got the chief minister’s chair, the Congress secured the Speaker for themselves. “What have we got?” Pawar has bristled in frustration.

Well, let’s try to fathom the reasons why Indian Express and The Hindu have chosen to bury the disclosures of NCP chief:

·         One, it would show that Congress is perennial spoilsport, arrogant and have an ingrained sense of entitlement (even though they have the least number of seats out of the four major contestants in Maharashtra);

·         Two, it would reveal that all is still not well within the fledgling alliance among the three opposites in Mahrashtra as Pawar has gone public in his displeasure with Congress;

·         Three, it could actually mean an overture by Pawar towards the BJP in the still fluid political rapids of Maharashtra

I would now ask the readers of the two newspapers to refer the front page lead story of Indian Express on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, with the headline: “PM told me let us work together but I refused: Pawar on Nov 20 meet.” The sub-headline of the story is: “Offer to make Supriya Sule minister at Centre, joint govt in state: NCP chief.”

Clearly the impression a reader would have from this front-page lead is that the prime minister Narendra Modi was “cutting a deal” with Pawar towards BJP forming a government in Maharashtra. Modi, it implied, not only wanted the support of NCP but had also offered a ministerial berth to his daughter. But as you read on, the dissonance of the text with the headline becomes apparent.

In the text, Pawar is quoted for Modi having asked him to work together for the country as they share common vision on a multiple issues. So Modi made didn’t make an offer for Maharashtra. But the headline would make a non-attentive reader believe that Modi was trying to cut a deal with NCP towards power in Maharashtra.  Secondly, while Pawar did say that a ministerial berth was offered to her daughter, he didn’t say that Modi had made this offer!

Thus, out and out, Indian Express was trying to show Modi in poor light on his November 20 meeting with Pawar ahead of the ugly drama in Maharashtra even though the facts were otherwise.

Now, Cut Two to today’s newspapers, 24 hours later.  Sharad Pawar is quoted to having told the NDTV that no such direct offer—either to Pawar himself or his daughter Sule was made by Modi. This has been prominently reported in Times of India. But Indian Express and The Hindu haven’t reported this disclosure made on a national TV network—even though a day earlier it was quoting a regional TV channel to make their point on November 20 meeting! The most Indian Express has done is to quote Pawar that his nephew, Ajit Pawar, was unhappy over the pace of discussion with the Congress. No mention that Ajit Pawar had walked out of the meeting with Congress over “heated discussions.”

So readers, go on and keep reading The Indian Express and The Hindu if you share their bias against the BJP, and by extension, against the Hindutva point of view. But then be prepared to get doctored news as they have done in the present instance.

Posted on: December 4, 2019, by : Ashish Shukla

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